The iPhone 6S launched last fall and almost immediately people began speculating about the changes Apple was likely to make with the next generation of iPhones, specifically changes to the headphone jack.
Citing a "reliable source," Japanese blog (via ) reported in November that, in an effort to make the new iPhone that much thinner, Apple was planning to eliminate the standard 3.5-millimeter headphone port altogether. Instead, iPhone 7 users would be provided with headphones that plugged directly into the phone's lightning port, currently used for charging the phone and making hard-wired data transfers.
Such a change would make current headphones and earbuds obsolete, forcing iPhone users to either go wireless or buy adapters in order to make their existing headphones compatible with the new technology.
Although the rumors are, as of yet, unsubstantiated, they caused enough of a stir online to prompt the creation of a petition on , urging Apple to abandon their supposed plans and keep the standard headphone port.
According to the petition, "There's only one reason for this change: to leverage Apple's market share in order to extract even more profit from its customers. With virtually no third-party manufacturers ready to fill the new market gap, Apple stands to make a killing."
The petition also calls attention to the tremendous environmental impart of such a change. "Not only will this force iPhone users to dole out additional cash to replace their hi-fi headphones, it will singlehandedly create mountains of electronic waste — that likely won't get recycled. ... According to the United Nations, up to 90% of the world's electronic waste is illegally traded or dumped each year. We need to bring more care and attention to this growing issue — not aggravate it through reckless, profit-driven decisions that will deliver countless perfectly useable items straight to the landfill."
So far, the petition has gathered over 200,000 signatures.
Representatives from Apple declined to comment on the rumors or the petition.